What do a million dollars buy you?

A lavish suburban home with a king-sized pool?

Kickstart any business without the worry of investors?

A dream vacation around the world whilst staying in the most exotic destinations on earth?

1 million dollars is the difference between your dreams coming true and not. Some people traverse through their entire lives without making the full monty. While others make their first million before turning 20. People even make their first million with work from home gigs.

At Cleverism, we love turning your deep fantasies into a reality. In this write-up, we’ll demonstrate ‘How to make a million dollars from nothing.’


Believe it or not, getting wealthy is an acquired skill. Don’t believe us? Take a look at the names in the following list.

  • Oprah Winfrey
  • Larry Ellison
  • Roman Abramovich
  • Kenny Troutt
  • Howard Schultz
  • Do Won Chang
  • Sheldon Adelson
  • George Soros
  • Francois Pinault
  • Lakshmi Mittal

What do they have in common? You may have recognized a name or two and formed an opinion already.

Your guess is right!

All of these names are the names of billionaires. They have appeared on Forbes 100 richest individuals on the planet list numerous times.

What ties them together is every name above started in poverty. Every single one of them started from rags and made it to the wealthiest lot.

Have we got your attention yet? 

None of them had the privilege of a rich lifestyle when they started. But they still made it big in their lifetimes. Being wealthy doesn’t have to be passed through generations.

And If they’ve made billions from nothing. Making a million isn’t hard if you set your mind to it.

Your first million is the hardest. Once you’ve made your first million, the snowball effect for your wealth begins. Generating your 2nd and 3rd million is far easier once you’ve acquired the right mindset.

Here are the top tips for changing your perspective about wealth and why it’s necessary to do so.

  • Before you think of your first million, begin by saving your first $1000
  • Set up goals to save X amount of money every week or month
  • Even if you have to sacrifice a weekend’s night out, save every penny
  • The rich didn’t reign above everyone else by thinking like an amateur, investing early matters
  • Once you’ve saved your first $1,000, raise the target to $10,000 and so forth
  • A new target at first seems unachievable, when you tweak your lifestyle, you’d be surprised how many extra dollars are saved every month
  • Avoid buying things the first two years of savings

When you start with the basics, you kickstart a healthy habit of tracking your money. Knowing where your money lets you understand how to sustain and grow it over time.


“Wait a minute, I barely spend any money! There’s nothing left to cut.”

Most people are oblivious to their monthly expenditures. Many items creep into your daily budget that doesn’t belong. If you can’t cut your expenditure, it reduces your overall savings. Which means getting to your first million is that much harder.

Let’s take a look at the most popular items that people spend money on but don’t need.

1. Cigarettes

It’s an age-old saying.

“A good smoker lights their cigarette without fire & smoke.”

Among the most wasteful things, a report shows an average smoker spends a whopping $1.4 million in personal costs. This includes everything up to medical bills, tobacco products, and a lower income group.

If you’ve tossed out $1.4 million before you started. You’re already in the deficit.

If you’re an active smoker, seek out a tobacco treatment plan within your local neighborhood. Quitting the puff is the best way to awaken your inner millionaire.

2. Alcohol

Alcohol doesn’t have the same ill repute as smoking but one can still end up being an addict. And the underlying factor is – alcohol consumption rakes up the monthly costs. Especially if you enjoy the premium range.

When you aren’t a millionaire, buying alcohol isn’t a necessary expense. Save the champagne for a celebratory drink for your first million instead.

Avoid the occasional pub visit. Stick to water. Set yourself a personal goal to have an alcoholic drink when you’ve made it to your first $100,000. This way you’ll motivate yourself to reach your target faster.

Quitting smoking and drinking, keeps you mentally and physically fit. Health is a core requirement to enjoy your first million.

3. Coupon Shopping

Flashing right in front of your screen is an early bird offer. “Buy Today and save 85% off your total shopping bill”.

A once in a lifetime offer that’s too good to be true. Take advantage of the offer or you’ll fear missing out.

You make the purchase and a week later, another offer pops. “Hurry 90% off, don’t miss it”.

Don’t take the bait of discount shopping. The chain never ends. The only thing you’ll ever miss out on is becoming a millionaire.

If you must utilize coupons, use them for your groceries and other household essentials. Don’t fall for elaborate schemes that promise cashback and other manipulative discounts.

At the end of the day, discount or not. The money rolls out of your pocket.

For clothes, always shop during the end of the year and snag throwaway prices. Remember, to only buy clothes for a purpose such as official and casual wear. Don’t splurge on the latest fashion trends.

4. Credit Card Purchases

Credit cards have made our lives convenient.

Don’t have the money for a brand-new washing machine?

No problem, simply flash your plastic card and pay when you can.

If only life was that simple, then happiness could be bought by a few credit cards. The reality is – you’ll end up with a huge credit card bill at the end of the month. And with no money to clear your dues, you’ll make the minimum payment and revolve your credit for months.

During this time, the interest mounts up and the pretty washing machine sitting in your home turns into a money burning furnace. You’re now in the debt trap and when you owe money, the journey to your million becomes a dream.

Always pay cash and make a list of every essential item you require before you leave your home. Avoid online shopping, it only makes you buy stuff that you don’t need.

5. Digital Services & Products

Video games, item shops, streaming portals, mobile gaming, etc. are stopovers to your journey of becoming a millionaire. These digital entertainment spots kill two things – time and with it, money.

While it’s completely fine to spend an hour or two to de-stress after work.

It’s not alright to take your card and make a purchase when you haven’t gotten close to your first million. That’s just wasteful spending.

A report by Forbes states that the digital platform industry is worth $415-billion and is set to grow in the future. While the entertainment industry is turning billions, the individuals seeking entertainment are not even 1/10th of their way to being a millionaire.

The next time you receive the urge of paying a monthly subscription for your video-streaming portal. Ask yourself – Is it worth spending money on entertainment while your dreams remain unfulfilled?

Instead, pick up healthy hobbies such as outdoor walks and sports. Spend time with your family and friends. There are plenty of websites such as YouTube and streaming websites that offer free entertainment.


Now it’s time to connect to two key abilities. Without which it’s impossible to reach your first million.

Persistence and Willpower.

Every successful person has the will to go above and beyond. Their persistence helps them through failures and to focus on their goals. Utilizing a daily routine is a great way to exercise persistence and willpower.

Here are 3 routines used by successful people around the world to achieve their dreams.

1. Rise & Shine at the Same Time Everyday

If it’s one thing that unites all successful people together, it’s waking up at the same time every day. The body is a temple and the mind, a guardian. When we regulate our internal body clocks, we allow ourselves to be tuned to a system of productivity.

Our body no longer feels tired and decreases stress throughout the day. Here are the benefits of rising at the same time every day.

  • Limits caffeine intake
  • Improves attention span
  • Clears mind for thinking
  • Strengthens immune system
  • Positive emotion
  • Decreases mood swings
  • Prevents short-term memory
  • Sharpens attention
  • Extended productivity with more work hours throughout the day

All these free positive benefits from a good night’s rest and rising at the same time every day.

When starting a new sleep schedule, it takes a few days before the internal clock stabilizes. Give it a week or two to adjust. Once your sleep pattern normalizes, it’s time to utilize willpower and persistence to stick to the same rest schedule every day.

2. Exercise & Diet

A body without physical activity is a piece of furniture that creeks. Without exercise, our body is at risk of developing heart diseases, stroke, and chronic illnesses. All of which make your first million a fantasy. Health is your first real investment.

Begin by working out every day. A walk outdoors by the neighborhood or within a park is great for your lungs. Fill your body with fresh oxygen and receive sunlight to restore your energy reserves.

The food that you put into your body indirectly affects your daily routine. Eating a carb-heavy diet of junk food makes you lethargic and lazy. It’s necessary to count your calories and eat whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, and fresh produce.

A combination of an impeccable diet and regular exercise keeps your body feeling positive and healthy. With a good physique comes confidence. And confidence is a winning trait for a millionaire.

3. Always Self-Learning

Successful people are constantly searching for knowledge to acquire. They never stop absorbing information to improve themselves.

Here are some statistics to demonstrate –

  • Elon Musk finishes two books every day
  • Mark Cuban spends 3-hours every day dedicated to reading
  • Bill Gates is said to read 50 books in a year
  • Warren Buffet completes 5 newspapers and 500-page reports over a 5-6 hour reading spree
  • David Rubenstein reads 6 books every week

The wealthy people are on a quest to learn and never consider themselves experts. Since knowledge can never truly be conquered.

To become a millionaire, it’s necessary to dedicate time towards self-learning. Whether it’s towards your passion or business. Spend an hour or two every day in acquiring information aimed at your interests.

Here is a printable checklist of things to perform to get into the shoes of a successful person to acquire your first million.

  • Gain the two abilities – Willpower and Persistence
  • Wake up every day at the same time to kickstart your routine
  • Write down all your ideas in a personal notebook
  • Note every stressful incident before sleeping to avoid distractions
  • Spend 5-10 minutes every morning to self-reflect
  • Workout to release endorphins
  • Engage in a healthy diet
  • Spend time reading to gain knowledge
  • Meditate when angry or stressed
  • Bond with family and friends
  • Scribble a daily plan to improve time productivity
  • Complete difficult tasks as early in the day as possible
  • Finally, be grateful for being alive and the love you receive


In this digital age, it’s easy to be lost at every corner where opportunity shows up. Career changes are occurring every few months. Individuals spend their time trying out different endeavors.

Ask yourself – how many of them are close to their first million?

The first aspect to becoming wealthy is to become an expert at a high-income skillset. Every wealthy person in the world focused on one thing until they mastered it, they never moved on.

To become successful, it’s necessary to obtain this level of mastery. Otherwise, you’ll simply be good at many things but never exceptional.

The world rewards exceptional talent. Not good talent.

Companies hire exceptional employees, not good ones.

While we understand focus doesn’t come easy, it certainly is achievable.

Here are 3 steps to harness motivation and master your skillset quickly.

Step 1. Find the Right Balance Between Passion & Income

When choosing your profession, it’s important to remain neutral to your finances and passion. After all, what good is a career which bores you. Likewise, being passionate about a low-income career isn’t smart either.

Let’s help you with a simple exercise to find your perfect career path.

  1. Write down every career choice that interests you on a piece of paper
  2. Next, write down the average annual income besides the career choice
    (Example – Graphic Designer – $45,677 p.a.)
  3. Take a fresh piece of paper, write the top 3 highest paying careers
  4. On a rating of 1-5, begin rating these 3 careers based on your interest, take your time

(Example – Graphic Designer – 4   Content Writer – 3   Interior Designer – 1)

  1. The highest-rated career after the analysis is your dream career. (Above Example – Graphic Designer)

With this, we can finalize a balance between finding a passionate career that pays well.

Step 2. Dedicate 20-30 hours a Week Learning

Having a goal committed to practicing your skillset is crucial. Spending anywhere from 20 to 30 hours every week is a good start. That’s about 2-4 hours of devoted time daily for learning the basics of your skillset. At the start, you’ll undoubtedly face distractions and miss your daily goals. It’s quite common to be distracted, here are a few ways to avoid them.

  • Keep your smartphone on airplane mode and switch off notifications during your study
  • A tidy desk is a good start to eliminating clutter
  • What is the first thing you’d like to buy with your first million? Take a picture of that and hang it in front of your desk for motivation
  • Start with 2-3 minutes of deep breathing to de-stress
  • Write a set of goals you’d like to achieve for every session
  • Every hour, take a 5-minute break to hydrate and stretch your limbs
  • Soothing music is a good way to build concentration
  • Put up a ‘Don’t Disturb’ sign and let your family & friends know that you’re eliminating interruptions
  • Set aside healthy snacks to keep your energy levels up
  • If caffeine is a must, keep a jar of coffee close by
  • Every time you receive the urge to binge-watch your favorite Netflix series, look at the dream picture for motivation

Finally, it’s important to reward yourself for maintaining a dedicated timeline. Developing a skill isn’t easy, and if you’ve mastered the following tips. You’ll find yourself absorbing knowledge with less time invested.

Step 3. Deconstruct Your Mastery Learning Process

How do you finish a 10-pound cake? Simple, you break it down and eat it in bits over a period.

Learning a mastery isn’t any different than downing a whole cake. When the task seems big, create small goals, and tackle it one at a time.

Here’s an example of becoming a novice chef broken down into several goals.

Two Week Novice Chef Basic Technique Course

  • Boiling techniques

Learning simmering (Day 1)

Boiling points for different ingredients (Day 2)

The simmering liquids used (Day 3)

  • Grilling techniques

How to grill vegetables (Day 4)

How to grill meat (Day 5)

Quick tips to grill the perfect 3-course meal (Day 6)

  • Marinating

Oil Marination 101 (Day 7)

Sugar Marination 101 (Day 8)

Salt Marination 101 (Day 9)

Spices Marination 101 (Day 10)

  • Sauté

List of foods to sauté (Day 11)

Stir fry vs sauté (Day 12)

Different coatings for sautéing (Day 13)

* Day 14 spent in brushing up all techniques.

This sample course demonstrates how to break up your skill into parts. It can be applied to any skillset. Remember to always understand the basics before attempting the advanced stages of your skillset. Perfecting your basics allows you to master your skillset.


To reach your first million, you need to think and perform like millionaires. Hence, a concept that is familiar to successful people is the ‘The Wealth Triangle’. It was made famous by Dan Lok, an entrepreneur and success coach who failed 13 times before he made his first million.

Like the triangle, the concept is made up of 3 components.

Component 1 – High Income Skillset

As we previously discussed, a skillset is a way to your first million. In this component, you first acquire a skill to generate income. You are selling your time for money. Whether, it’s employment or freelancing.

A high-income skill is defined as a skill set that has a great demand in the world today and has a vast potential for growth in the future.

Examples of high-income skills are –

  • Copywriter
  • Online Tutor
  • Freelance Photography
  • Digital Marketer
  • Virtual Assistant
  • Consultant
  • Translator
  • Graphic Designer
  • Content Writer
  • Web Designer
  • Social Video Marketer
  • Software Development

The list is vast. Once you’ve selected a high-income profession, it’s time to acquire your first clients through job portals or scheduling interviews.

The basic idea of this component is to help you create your first source of money. To create a stable income and protect you from a setback.

Component 2 – Convert Skill into a Business

A skillset alone isn’t going to take you to your first million. Trading personal time for money helps you sustain but not grow. However, a business takes your skillset and magnifies the earning potential. A scalable business is when you put in cash flow and the business generates income overtime.

What better way to start a business than investing in your skillset?

Let’s say you’re a digital marketer, starting a business online expands your skills. People that you hire service more clients and the income increase exponentially.

Think of an expert chef investing money and opening their restaurant.

Component 2 allows you to hit your first million by converting an existing mastery into a company. In this step, you stop trading personal time and begin delegating work.

Component 3 – Investments

This is when you convert your first million into several millions. High-rewarding investments offer two things – invest in the future and multiplying your net worth.

In this component, you let your money work for you. Investing in startups or offering to invest a small percentage in organizations sees your wealth grow.

The wealth triangle is a proven concept. The video below by Dan Lok demonstrates how one can go from a broke individual to their first million.


Simple mistakes prevent you from joining the millionaire club. Sure, making money isn’t easy but it isn’t hard either. With the right mindset and proper planning, you’ll be on your way to cashing in your big checks.

We leave you with one important quote on your journey to being a millionaire.

Work Smarter Not Harder

Do you believe the path of the millionaire to be an easy or difficult one? Share with us in the comments below.

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